Joy’s March Update

What’s been happening since my last update?

I mentioned I was crocheting mad – still am, nothing has changed there. I’ve lost count of the WIPs. There are presents for family and friends, tasks to encourage my mum back into crochet and of course, things that I just must do for me. And there’s a blanket CAL starting soon that I’ve got my eye on too. Never enough hours in the day. And I’m sure that’s the same for all of us.

My mum’s been unwell and needed to get her groove back. She tried to teach me to crochet when I was 8, then as a teenager. I was 43 before I asked her to show me again. I’ve come on leaps and bounds since then but she needed a helping hand. So I found us a lovely blanket of squares we could work on together and I’m pleased to say she’s enjoying herself again. And it’s been great that I could give her something back.

Since my last post, I attended the first beading class with our new tutor and that was a huge success. A lovely group of ladies just having a lovely time together, like minded but from so many different backgrounds and walks of life. I’m very much looking forward to our next class at the end of March. Sue Stallard proved to be a super tutor, our group is a mix of complete beginners, some of us with a bit of experience and a couple of ladies who have been beading for donkey’s years. I’ve already been shopping for our next two projects. It does help that I know what’s coming next and what we have in stock. Come and see our new beads and crystals all the way from Czechoslovakia.

I do enjoy sewing and quilting but as a busy mum I spend a great deal of time driving and waiting for children. The portability of crochet and beading just lend themselves to being picked up and put down. I sit in the back of the car sometimes, with my laptop on the seat next to me, watching the latest drama or documentary, a pile of wool around me, a pattern fastened on to the headrest in front of me and a flask of tea. It’s actually not a bad way to spend a few hours really, truth be told. However, roll on the longer nights, because beading to the illumination of a car light is quite hard work on the eyes.

At work, I’ve been working on a sample embroidery. It’s a stitched and stump-worked kit that we may stock in the future. But I have needed a magnifying lens and lights, as the piece and stitches were so tiny. And that was in broad daylight. Keep an eye out on our social media and website for the kits.

 

February Progress

Nothing much has changed, the weather is still dismal and grey.  Sad to say but I still haven’t finished my lovely big crocheted throw.  Nearly there, 180 rows done, just the edging to do.  Getting quite excited now the end is in sight.  It has been quite nice spending a little time each evening on the sofa in front of the TV with my ever-growing blanket keeping me warm.  Spent the day out with my son and 10 other 14 year olds over the weekend paint balling.  Well they were paintballing, I sat in the car and crocheted, jumped out into the rain, fed them, sent them off again, jumped back in the car, crochet and repeat.  They all had a brilliant time and were exhausted by 4 o’clock.  I had a marvellous time being able to crochet without feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing housework/ironing/vacuuming etc etc.

 

I have however also been working on a couple of my many UFOs.  Just a few…

 

Having finished this lovely little piece, I have rediscovered my love of handwork, I started this stumpwork piece in a class with Kathy Laurel Sage about 18 months ago and I completed it last week. Just waiting for a frame now.  And of course, I’ll have to find a home for it.  It has reminded me how much I enjoy cross stitch and embroidery.   And goldwork… and tapestry… and jewellery making in its various guises.

I’ve joined a monthly group starting next month here at Tudor Rose Patchwork with our new tutor Sue Stallard and I’m very excited about the projects we’ll be doing in class.  The samples for each class are lovely and I’ve had a wonderful day ordering in the beads and crystals we’ll need.

The shipment of Czech delicas arrived on Thursday.  Huge amount of work involved getting them ready for you all but actually thrilled about new projects that are ahead of us.  Not to mention a couple of UFOs too… along with a bracelet and a necklace that need attention.

Help!  There’s just too much to do and not enough time.  Maybe if I didn’t sleep, eat, work or have to do anything with the children.  And I keep finding more to do.  I belong to a couple of Facebook groups and every day there’s a new pattern I’d like to make or new products I’d like to try.  A good job I don’t belong to any other social media.  It’s just madness.  How do you decide which project, piece you’re going to work on next?  Do you try and finish something a section a week whilst working on several others at the same time or just wing it, work on what you feel like that day?

 

 

Gold Work by Hand or Gold Work by Machine

 

Which one works for you?

By Kathleen Laurel Sage

Hi everyone,

We are now well into the New Year and many of us have already signed up for classes that inspire us to learn a new technique and make that stunning project. The weather is cold and dismal so it’s an ideal time to keep busy during the day with your machine projects whilst keeping cosy and comfy in the evenings with some hand stitching.

One of my favourite winter evening pastimes is my Gold Work embroidery as I can sit in my comfy armchair and stitch it when watching the television and being with the family. I can even manage it at a push with my dog on my lap.

Traditional Gold Work can seem so very intricate and people can be put off by what is actually a very easy to achieve technique when you are shown how. The simple stylised designs are accentuated by a couched cord sewn around them, then infilled with seed beads, leather and a whole host of lovely shiny gold work wires and cords that are available from the shop.

If you’re not a hand stitch kinda girl don’t fret because I like to push the boundaries to try and emulate the look of traditional stitching using my sewing machine. I have spent several happy days in my studio working out just how to do this and bring this stunning gold look to those of you who prefer to use your sewing machines.

What’s the difference?

First of all the embroidery hoop went and a stabiliser fabric was introduced to support my design. A quick gathering of all things gold such as cords, machine thread, ribbons and beads and I was ready for the challenge. Now all that I had to do was experiment with how to emulate my lovely gold work using only my trusty old sewing machine! With a little practice and a good look at what my basic machine had to offer I soon realised that it was no big deal, just use the machine stitch to accentuate the design and to couch the cord. Simple really… What about the leather though? Well the machine didn’t like going through such small pieces so back to the drawing board, but not for long. Tudor Rose Patchwork has a new and sensational product called Fusible Glitter Film and wow it does a grand job of replacing the padded leather of the traditional method. So away I went again. With the use of a few utility patterns and a dab of gold paint, I had soon created my new machine version of traditional gold work and wow I was pleased with it. Plus it took me much less time to complete and finish than the hand stitched version. A real plus when time is short.

I love the fact that it can be done both ways and I invite you to come along to my machine embroidered, ‘All that Glitters is Gold’ workshop on the 18th February and have a go for yourself.  Whether you’re a hand stitch girl or a machine stitch girl, you can both do gold work.

And for those of you who love your hand stitched version don’t forget to book a place on the Gold Work sunflower on Monday 26th June.  We have also opened up another date for the popular Gold Work Bumblebees on the 9th September. So hurry and book your place as they are going fast!

Hand embroidered Gold Work

Machine embroidered Gold Work

 

You can book a place on All That Glitters is Gold, and find out about our other courses HERE

January Update

So the new year has started after a wonderful but very busy Christmas with family and friends.  The weather is topsy turvy, sun shining brightly one day and frosty and cold the next.  Heating on, heating off.  Walk the dog, coat on, coat off.  Ride the horses – lightweight macs to keep them dry in the rain or thick, heavy beat the freeze rugs.  Just don’t know what to do or where we’re at.

 

Nothing changes for crafting for me though.  I’m addicted to crochet just now.  I’ve got UFOs at the sewing machine, UFOs in the jewellery-making and beading box, UFOs in the cross stitching bag.  But nothing pulls me away from my yarn and crochet hooks.  During 2016 I created 3 blankets which were given away as Christmas presents to family and special friends.   I made a dress, lovely to wear during the hot summer, and even crocheted a bag – currently a UFO at the sewing machine…

 

My wonderful husband treated me to some marvellous yarn for Christmas.  A 45% silk/55% mohair mix in a deep purple/maroon shade.  I’ve chosen to use it for another throw.  Two of last year’s blankets were crochet along and the third was a very simple pattern.  This time I’ve chosen something more complicated to push me.  The first challenge being the chain of 177 stitches.  Never worked a chain so long before.  Found a tip online – create a chain in counts of five.  Worked well.  Got the right number of stitches first time.

 

I found that once I mastered the basics – a slip-knot and chain, a double crochet and a treble – anything is possible.  However complicated a pattern, stitches are all built around these basics.  So my new pattern with woven stitches, cables, arrows and celtic weave amongst others, are all just building on the basics.  And I have to say I’m enjoying learning and pushing myself with this.  I’m only on row 34 but loving every moment I am able to find half an hour in an evening to work on this.   There has been a certain amount of frogging but fortunately not too much.

 

“Frogging” I hear you ask.  What is frogging?  I had to google it too.  Quite simply, “to frog” is “to rip out stitches”.  It is a play on words alluding to amphibians and their chorus of “ribbit, ribbit, ribbit”.

 

Whatever your craft, I hope you have a wonderful 2017.

Fluted Quilted Box

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! This Fluted Box, if you make it using the Heartstrings collection from Henry Glass & Co.  would make a perfect Valentine’s gift for that person in your life who leaves a trail of oddments and trinkets in their wake, and will help them keep their little keepsakes safe.

Click here to download the pattern and start quilting.

This pattern is also perfect for anyone who wants to practices their free motion quilting. You could also use the box as a storage box for all your handcraft tools.

Thanks to Jon Massey for creating this pattern; we would love to see your interpretations of the box, please feel free to email them to us or post them to our Facebook page!

 

Angel Scarf Knitting Pattern

Once the new year starts, we all start to evaluate just how much fabric and yarn we have stashed around our house. This scarf is the ideal stash buster. Perfect for chilly spring mornings, it has pointed ends, and is nice and quick to knit. You can use any yarn and each scarf will be unique, but be aware that you may require more than 25g of heavier weight yarns.

Requirement: 1 x 25g ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze or Debbie Bliss Angel (currently on sale!)

6.5mm needles.

Cast on loosely an even number of stitches depending on the width required – 40 stitches will produce a scarf approximately 1.6 metres long.
Knit 2 rows.
Pattern Row 1:
Knit 2 *Yarn over needle, knit 2 together, repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, knit 2.
Pattern Row 2:
Knit.
These 2 rows form the pattern. Repeat until the required length is achieved.
Knit 2 rows.
Cast off loosely.

Daisy Garden Table Runner

As promised, here is Jon’s completed table runner using the Daisy Garden panel. When you first look at the Daisy Garden panel, most people would look at it and see placemats and coasters. We tried to turn this into something else and it goes to show what can be done when you think outside the box and rearrange a panel.

Jon took each element of the panel and rearranged it to create a decent sized table runner. He started by cutting out each square and rectangle adding on a ½“ seam allowance around each piece, he laid them out to make a long rectangle design. Flying geese where added to compliment the design and bring out the reds in the patterns to make this a feature and just simply put borders around each one. It was so simple to do and great fun to quilt. With all the flowers and butterflies in the designs it was great fun to quilt around these to make each one really pop. You can really go to town with this when quilting or keep it simple. Jon decided to free motion machine quilt the runner along the beige sashing. To finish it off he used a dark aqua binding to match the colours in the daisy garden collection.

Here is a list of all the fabrics Jon used to finish his project:

·         Red: Moda Basic- Avalon 2019924

·         Dark aqua: Moda Marble- 9806

·         Beige: Makower Spraytime- 2800 Q03

·         Daisy Garden Panel – currently on sale!!

 

Click here to see the whole Daisy Garden collection. 

Fabric Friday!

It may be cold outside but Spring will soon be on its way and the Daisy Garden collection is perfect for any project at this time of year. It’s bold floral print compliments the soft blues, yellows and greens, giving the fabrics a country cottage theme. The daisies sit alongside butterflies but have subtle hints of geometric patterns both in the panel and the rest of the fabrics.

There is so much you can do with a collection like this; at the moment Jon is working on a table runner using the panel. Sticking with the dining theme, you could cut out the individual squares and rectangles for place mats and coasters, perfect for dressing up the garden table for outdoor lunches in the warmer months.

If you are fairly new to patchwork and quilting, panels are a great place to start; cutting out individual pieces of the panel allows you to try out your new skills on a small and simple projects. Want to try something a bit bigger? You could keep the panel in one piece and turn it into a small quilt by adding borders. But if you are feeling really ambitious you could cut out and rearrange the individual pieces of the panel to make a much larger quilt or a table runner just like Jon!

Patchwork with panels is easy; if you are still unsure then why not join one of our beginners classes. If you want to follow the theme of Daisy Garden and create something homely you could join Geraldine for her sewing for beginner’s day in February where she can help you out with any small home furnishing project.

Interested in a classes but don’t know which ones to do? Come along to our exhibition on Saturday 10th January, 10am-4.30pm. Students from all our 2014 classes will be displaying their work; you can talk to the students about their experience and staff and will be on hand to discuss all the courses we have to offer this year. Light refreshments will be being served at the event thanks to O for Coffee. Of course you are welcome to stay for the whole day and enjoy lunch in O for Coffee and grab a bargain in our winter sale!

To see the full Daisy Garden collection click here.

Browse our full list of courses by clicking here.